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Grandma’s Triple Top-Secret Potato Salad – Revealed!

31 Dec

People are passionate about their potato salad. Everybody claims they have the “best” recipe – either their own, or their mom’s, or their grandma’s, or what have you. Individual potato salads are subject to strict critique by the consumers. They might say outright, “This is good, but it’s not as good as such-and-so’s,” or they admit, “This is the best darned potato salad I ever did eat!” Or they internally scrutinize and judge and analyze just what might that secret ingredient be that they detect.

ingredients

If you make a good one, you know it because it’s requested for every family dinner and every potluck, and it disappears quickly. If you make a bad one, you know it because you have leftovers when the day is done.

chopped

My childhood summers featured this dish very prominantly. My grandmother would make a batch just about every week, and I have to tell you (get ready), it IS the best recipe and IS the best potato salad you’re ever going to eat. And it took me a long time to perfect it. You see, this recipe had no measurements. Just a list of ingredients whose amounts you would add and adjust and taste and assess throughout the process of making the potato salad. I don’t know how Grandma made it EXACTLY the same every time, but she did.

whisked

I made a batch tonight, and as I went along I tried to note just how much of each ingredient I used. I probably don’t have it exactly right here, but I’m taking a shot at it. Your experience and preference may vary, so feel free to adjust the amounts toward your preference. Like a “yellower” potato salad? Add more mustard! Like it a little dryer? Add less mayo! Like it a bit more tangy? Add more vinegar!

You catch my drift. Okay, here goes!

potatosalad

Grandma’s Triple Top-Secret Potato Salad – Revealed!

Ingredients:

– 5 lbs yellow or golden potatoes
– 4 stalks celery
– 1/2 of a medium sweet onion
– 5 eggs
– 2/3 of a 32 oz jar of mayo… what is that, about 21 oz? Almost three cups? Let’s just say three cups – we like our potato salad “wet”. (Yes dears, that’s what I said… THREE CUPS OF MAYO. What, you didn’t come here for HEALTHY food, did you?)
– 1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
– 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
– 3 heaping tbsp sweet pickle relish
– 3 heaping tbsp yellow mustard
– 2 tbsp sugar
– 1 tbsp onion powder
– salt and pepper to taste (the potatoes absorb the salt, so don’t be shy with it!)

Peel all the potatoes, cut them in half, and place in a large pot. Cover with water about 2″ above the potatoes, splash in a bit of vegetable oil, and throw in a couple of tablespoons of salt. Boil until fork-tender but not falling apart, about 20 minutes depending on the size of the potatoes. Drain and allow to cool.

While the potatoes are boiling, hard-boil the eggs (I keep them at a rolling boil for fifteen minutes). Drain and allow to cool.

While you’re waiting for the potatoes and eggs to cool, chop the celery and the onion and place them in a very large bowl. In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayo, oil, vinegar, relish, mustard, sugar, onion powder, salt and pepper.

When the potatoes and eggs are cool, roughly chop them (about 3/4 inch pieces for the taters, smaller for the eggs), and add to the bowl with the celery and onion. Pour the dressing over the vegetables, and gently fold to incorporate without mushing up the potatoes. Pour from mixing bowl into a large serving dish. Cover and chill for at least 8 hours, or overnight. Makes at least 6-8 servings.

You will die of the taste sensation, I guar-an-tee.

Greek Veggie Wrap

28 Jan

One whole tomato, diced and drained (quartered grape tomatoes work well, too)
One whole cucumber, peeled, sliced in half lengthwise, then quartered lengthwise, de-seeded, then chopped
12 black olives, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced, de-seeded, and diced
1/2 small red onion, diced
1 rib celery, diced
1 can artichoke hearts, drained and diced (optional)
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar (balsamic is also good)
1 tbsp oregano
1 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste

3 oz feta cheese, crumbled
lettuce of choice
Cucumber or ranch dressing

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl except feta, lettuce, and dressing.  Cover and chill for at least one hour before serving.  Wrap ingredients in a flour wrap, flour or corn tortilla**, flat bread, or pita bread.  Top with feta, lettuce and dressing (if desired).

greekpita

Makes a bunch of servings.  It’s also great when tossed with shredded lettuce as a salad. It’s best when eaten within two days of making it.

**For gluten-free, use a corn tortilla.

Greek Pasta Salad

25 Jan

1 12 oz package rainbow spiral noodles
1/2 cup red onion, slivered
1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup green bell pepper, diced
1 whole large cucumber, peeled, sliced, and the slices cut into quarters
12 jumbo black olives, sliced (or use kalamata olives)
1 5 oz can artichoke hearts, drained (optional)
1 large firm tomato, diced
1 cup Feta cheese, crumbled
3 tbsp extra light olive oil
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
3 tbsp water
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste

Boil noodles according to directions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Put noodles in a large bowl and combine with remaining ingredients. Mix well. Chill pasta salad for at least an hour in the fridge before eating. Since I’m the only one in the family who likes Feta, I leave that out and just top my own serving with it. Enjoy!

Dinner Salad

25 Jan

3 cups baby field greens
3 large mushrooms, sliced
2 radishes, sliced thin
1/4 cup bell pepper (I use red and yellow), sliced thin or diced
1/4 cup cucumber, peeled and sliced
8-10 grape tomatoes (LOVE these things)
1/4 cup shredded carrot
6-8 black olives, sliced
1/4 cup sweet onion, diced or julienned
1/4 cup (or MORE, in my case) crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup shredded chicken
Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing

Place greens on a large dinner plate, top with remaining vegetables, feta, and shredded chicken. Dress to taste.

Garbanzo Bean Salad

25 Jan

From “The Schwarzbein Principle Cookbook”

13 3/4 oz canned garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced carrots
1/2 cup fresh parsley
1 cup cucumber, seeded and diced
1 cup diced red bell pepper

Toss all ingredients in a large bowl. In a second small bowl, combine the following for Vinaigrette dressing:

1 minced garlic clove
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp balsemic vinegar
1 tbsp dijon mustard
4 tbsp pure pressed extra virgin olive oil (the only kind to have!)
ground black pepper and salt to taste

Mix dressing ingredients well, pour over bean salad and toss to coat.

garbanzobeansalad

Four Bean Salad

25 Jan

1 15oz can green beans, drained
1 15oz can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 pound wax beans
1 15oz can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 onion, sliced into thin rings
3/4 cup white sugar
2/3 cup distilled white vinegar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. celery seed

Mix together all ingredients. Allow to chill in refrigerator for at least 12 hours.